Unlike many Pedorthists who have undergraduate degrees in science or kinesiology, I entered the profession after working as a mechanic. Although this seems like an unconventional background for someone who works in healthcare, my early experience as an automotive mechanic combined with the extensive training I took to earn my C. Ped (C), equipped me well for a career in pedorthics. Like Pedorthists, automotive mechanics require a thorough understanding of systems, a need to be able to carefully evaluate why these systems sometimes fail and an ability to use that knowledge and hands on skills to get them back up and running again
Pedorthists occupy a unique niche in foot health as we are trained to identify the cause, recommend a course of action and then physically make and provide the treatment that our patients require. Our training in biomechanics combined with our ability to manufacture and dispense foot orthotics and modify footwear is a unique combination. There is less potential for pertinent information about an adjustment or fabrication to get lost as we don’t need to brief a third party –in my opinion, this ensures that patients receive the most appropriate and accurate treatment possible.
Another benefit to patients is that Pedorthists are not stand-alone clinicians. We work as a part of a patient’s healthcare team and we are accountable to the patient’s referring physician as well as the patient. This increased accountability combined with our hands on involvement in patients’treatment leads to the best possible patient outcomes.
Pedorthists have grown from a place of obscurity to a place at the table as providers of choice for foot orthoses and footwear in the twenty plus years I have been practicing. Many university graduates are choosing to pursue Pedorthic training every year, Public awareness of pedorthics has increased significantly, as more people become aware of the services we bring to the ageing population, to people living with Diabetes, to athletes, to people who have suffered a foot injury. The need for our services is increasing yearly.
I am proud to be a Pedorthist in Canada, proud of our profession that is able to provide Canadians suffering from foot or lower limb pain the best possible care.
By Jonathan Robinson, C. Ped Tech (C), C. Ped (C), Douglas, NB